Oct 29, 2012, 1:29 PM EDT
Devils goalie Martin Brodeur knows the importance of casual hockey fans to markets like New Jersey, and he’s worried that the lockout will drive that demographic away.
“We brought a lot of attention to our sport and to our league in this area (during last year’s playoffs),” Brodeur told ESPN.com Monday. “But slowly you just see how people start asking me less about hockey around here. You have to worry about that a little bit. I know in Canada that’s not the case, but in smaller markets, you have to be concerned. I’m not talking about the hard-core hockey fans, but the general sports fans, those on the bubble who come to some hockey games. Those are the fans that help us fill things out on a Tuesday night. That’s who we might lose.”
The Devils finished 24th in NHL attendance in 2011-12, averaging a modest 15,396 per game at the Prudential Center.
The team’s run to the Stanley Cup finals – its first foray past the second round since 2003 – should’ve meant more fans in the seats this season, but according to Brodeur, the lockout will cause many fans to abandon hockey for other forms of entertainment.
In a sadly ironic twist, both the NHL and NHLPA are trying to help small markets; they just have different ideas on how to do it. The league wants to cut the share of revenue going towards the players; the players want more revenue sharing between rich and poor franchises.
Meanwhile, the lockout is only hurting that shared goal.
- Brassard says Marchand ‘doesn’t show any respect for his opponents’ 66
- Playoffs tonight: Bruins and Red Wings look to finish things in Game 5 7
- Video: Senators’ captain Alfredsson discusses his future 11
- Penguins put on a ‘clinic’ in semifinal series win over Senators 32
- Report: NHL to present Glendale with Coyotes ownership plan next week 16
- Discuss: Penguins knock off the Senators in Game 5, headed to conference final 74
- Video: Morrow’s goal off the foot stands after review 6
- Maloney signs long-term contract as Coyotes GM 7
- Playoffs Tonight: Penguins aim to finish off Senators 20
- Kings’ Quick ‘didn’t have to work hard’ in shutout win over Sharks 8
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (114)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (101)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win (87)
- LIVE: Bruins-Rangers, Game 5
- PST: Bayern Munich beats Dortmund, wins Champions League
- PBT: Pacers' Hill: Only God scarier than LeBron
- Hundreds run Boston Marathon's final mile
- MST Monaco GP predictions: Mercedes' time?
- PHT: Brassard says Marchand shows no respect
- PST: Neymar reportedly set to join Barcelona
- Play Video: Highlights: Penguins crush Senators to move on
- Play Video: Neil hits Murray below the belt
- Play Video: Morrow's goal up for review in Game 5
- Play Video: Phantom penalty called on Crosby
- Play Video: I was there: Bruins stun Maple Leafs in Game 7
- Play Video: Top-seeded Blackhawks on brink of elimination